The Meaning of ‘Alone’ – (Discovery Channel)

‘Alone’ is a reality television survival show where contestants are sent to isolated locations in the wilderness to see who can last longest living alone, exposed to the elements and separated from society. Yet, what the show really wants to talk about is the viability of the American socio-economic project.

The Social Commentary Embedded in ‘House Hunters’ (HGTV)

In HOUSE HUNTERS, the choice of casting demographics suggests an intentional signaling of progressive values and a tweak to the stereotypical vision of the American Dream.

Semiotics & the Meaning of the Crystal Craze

There are signs of an emerging romanticism at work in American culture, where the received wisdom of “pure” scientific, critical rationalism is being challenged and sometimes replaced by alternative systems of thought and expression.

‘The Help’ & the Discourse around Protest Literature

When THE HELP was made into a successful Hollywood film, critics attacked the story for its social-politics. To these critics, the very area of THE HELP’s thematic strength seemed to also be the text’s weakness.

Otherness & “the Other”

Some of the most popular modes of critical theory utilize the concept of “the Other,” an important social-political idea prevalent today in conversations about literature, film, television and advertising.

The Karate Kid & the Meritocracy Myth

The most obvious narrative arc in The Karate Kid (1984) is Daniel’s ascension from a novice martial arts student to a regional champion. This rise is paralleled on a slightly more subtle level by Daniel’s elevation on the ladder of social status.

Analyzing Pop Culture

When we take popular culture like films, television, and advertisements as texts for analysis, we are engaging what is broadly called in cultural criticism.